Looking to step up your coffee game at home? Here’s a list of my favorite coffee gear

I’m not being paid by any of these companies to advertise for these products, these are my opinions about the products that I use personally.

Drip Brewer: Behmore Brazen Plus

Find it on Amazon.

This is the best drip brewer I’ve used. The biggest thing I love about it is the pre-infusion time. It adds a little bit to the brewing time overall, but in the end it creates a delicious cup of coffee. The only negative I’ve noticed is that it’s an 8-cup pot (translation for Americans and our 16-ounce mugs–it’s about 2.5 servings). For my husband and I it works perfectly, but if we have a crowd then it can be inconvenient.

My other highlight for this machine is that it actually gets the water to the proper boiling point, which is so critical in proper brewing. It’s even adjustable so you can play with it to get the perfect cup every time.

Grinder: Baratza Encore

Find it on Amazon.

This is an excellent entry-level burr grinder for when you’ve outgrown the inexpensive blade style grinders. I love this one because it’s very easy to use and it’s designed like a miniature commercial grinder. It’s built to last, so the idea is that you’ll replace parts instead of going again with a new grinder. I’ve had mine for 5 years and it’s still going strong, I haven’t even had to replace anything yet.

While I do really love this grinder, one thing I’ll mention is that like any burr grinder, it can get jammed. I noticed that mine seemed more likely to get jammed in the first 6 months of ownership, and now I don’t seem to have that problem anymore. The biggest thing you can do to prevent it from jamming is to not fill the ground bin (where the ground coffee comes out) all the way. In fact, the manufacturer seems to recommend that the highest you fill it is 2/3rds.

Pour Over: Hario V60

Find it on Amazon.

Hey, it’s cheap and the text on the box is in Chinese, but it makes a great pour over. The part I love, besides the fact that it’s cheap, is that it’s made of plastic. The way I do a pour over, I tend to do some agitation, and using a plastic one allows me to do this without burning myself. It’s also light so it doesn’t fall off your carafe or mug.

French Press: Primula 16-oz French Press

Find it on Amazon.

Ok, the truth is that the brand doesn’t make a huge difference on your French Press. But there are a couple of things that I do look for in a French Press.

Size. Don’t pay attention to the number of cups they advertise, pay attention to the number of ounces. French Presses are not typically made by American companies, so they don’t follow American sizing standards. This one for instance is 16-ounces and they claim 4 cups. This is a 1 mug French Press. If you want enough for 2 people, I suggest going up to a 34 ounce. I also have a 64 ounce for when we’re having more people over.

Material. My preference is glass because I really like to be able to see how much coffee is in there when I’m pouring, and how my coffee is developing during the brew. The argument against glass (typically the other option is stainless steel) is that it tends to lose heat more quickly. That’s one of the reasons why I use this 16 ounce one. It makes one cup at a time, so the heat loss isn’t a concern. This is personal preference.

Cost. To me, the right price to pay for a French Press is right around $20. You can go down as low as $10 and as high as $30. Below $10 and you’re looking at one that probably won’t last as long or doesn’t have an adequate filter. Higher than $30 and you’re just paying for aesthetics–which is ok, but just know that you’re probably not paying for higher quality. I’m going based on Amazon prices, you can probably end up paying more or less at other stores.

Espresso Maker: La Pavoni Manual Lever

Find it on Amazon.

Ok, obviously you don’t need to spend this much on an espresso maker. This is just what I use. I do own a coffee roasting company after all.

You can make a truly fabulous espresso drink out of one of these, but be ready for some extra work. Always grind right before pulling your shot, measure the espresso going into your shot (this one takes 14g), and learn to tamp evenly. This wouldn’t be the espresso maker you’d want to start with, but if you’ve had some experience and want to take your espresso game to the next level, it’s an excellent machine.

Do you have any favorite coffee gear that I didn’t mention? Leave us a comment!

Categories: CoffeeReviews